what is bolognese?
Bolognese is a meat based sauce that comes from a place called Bologna, Italy, which is where it gets it’s name.
Bolognese is not the same thing as spaghetti or marinara sauce. Marinara is a tomato based sauce filled with herbs and occasionally vegetables. Bolognese is a meat based sauce that has just a little bit of tomato for flavor.
So if meaty sauce is your thing, then so is bolognese!
Can you put raw meat in the slow cooker?
You may have noticed that even though this is a slow cooker recipe, you have to brown your Italian sausage before putting it into the slow cooker.
Meat doesn’t necessarily have to be cooked before putting it in the slow cooker. We often use raw chicken breasts, pork chops and roasts in the slow cooker.
However, the gentle heat of a slow cooker can’t brown meat, so if you are using a ground meat it is best to cook it before.
Cooking your ground meat before putting it in the slow cooker allows it to brown and gives it more flavor.
Cooking your bolognese in the slow cooker allows the tomatoes and other seasonings to simmer to give it the best flavor.
What kind of meat is used to make bolognese?
Bolognese is traditionally made with minced beef or pork. We love using mild Italian ground sausage for our Slow Cooker Bolognese.
How to make bolognese in the slow cooker:
Making Bolognese in your slow cooker is easier than you might think.
Simply brown the Italian sausage in a skillet, drain the excess grease and add it to the slow cooker.
Next, mix in all the other ingredients and let it cook on for 8 hours.
This recipe can literally be thrown together in just a matter of minutes, but after that homemade bolognese sauce has been simmering all day it will taste like you spent hours slaving over it in the kitchen.
The other ingredients used in this Slow Cooker Bolognese include minced onion flakes, minced garlic, a can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, water, sugar, dried oregano, dried basil, fennel seed, salt and pepper.
We serve this Slow Cooker Bolognese over pasta after it is done cooking and top it with some grated Parmesan cheese.
You can serve this meat sauce over whatever pasta you prefer.
What to serve with bolognese:
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The best slow cooker Italian recipes:
- Easy Slow Cooker Beef Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Baked Ziti
- Slow Cooker Mozzarella Meatballs
- Slow Cooker Chicken Alfredo Lasagna
- Slow Cooker Creamy Spaghetti
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If you love pasta as much as we do, try our Instant Pot Creamy Shrimp Alfredo Pasta! Watch how easy it is to make below: